It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Washington - US President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he will oppose releasing dozens of photographs depicting the US military abusing prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Obama reversed an earlier Defence Department decision to make the photos public over concerns they could produce a backlash against US troops in those two countries.
'The most direct consequence of releasing them, I believe, would be to further inflame anti-American opinion and to put our troops in greater danger,' Obama said on the White House lawn.
'The president does not believe that the strongest case regarding the release of these photos was presented to the court,' White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.
The decision is interesting reading for geeks. Two grounds were presented for denying the ACLU's request for the photos: national security; and privacy concerns for the victims.
That's right, our government is claiming that its concern for the civil rights of people who were at least arguably torture victims at our hands prevents the government from showing the pictures of these mutilated and abused people. The victims themselves are not arguing that their privacy should be protected. There is a faintly detectable sense of shame about this argument, as it is not emphasized by the government. This is one of those arguments that, if pushed too far, could turn the judges against you.
Obama decided to see whether the Supreme Court would review this decision. There is no right of appeal. He can only ask the Supreme Court if it will review the decision. The government is restricted to the record made in the trial court, although it sounded like the government wanted to try to argue that there were new facts justifying the matter being heard anew by the trial court. That's just a guess.
While Obama was being castigated by the right as anti-American for agreeing to comply with a court order, he is now being pilloried by the left for breaking campaign promises of transparency and selling out. Both sides are calling him indecisive, even feckless.